The University's agreement with Google includes a lot more than just email. We have access to 40+ other "apps" under the Google umbrella, like Picasa, YouTube, Blogger, and Sites, just to name a few. One of the more popular apps, Docs, was recently overhauled and is now referred to as Google Drive. This page exists to introduce you the basics of Drive, and explain how to install the desktop client which will allow you to synchronize your documents across all of your devices.
Exploring Google Drive
Using Google Drive
Just like Gmail, there is no special installation required to start using Google Drive. It's web based, which means it's easy to bring up, easy to use, and easy to access wherever you are. Simply log in to your email and click "Drive" among the list of Apps (usually located in a list across the top of the window).
Once inside Drive, click the red "Create" button to make a new document, spreadsheet, or presentation. You may already have some documents created, and those will display in list form when you go into your Drive. Clicking the arrow button immediately to the right of the "Create" button will allow you to upload external documents. (If you upload Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents, be sure to convert them to Google Docs if you want to be able to edit them online.)
For a plethora of information, from simple introductory how-tos to more advanced functionality, check out the Drive section of the M+Google Team's online resources.
Installing Google Drive on a Mac or PC
If the web based functionality isn't enough for you, or you want to use it to it's full potential, Google offers the downloadable Drive application. Downloading and installing this will allow you to set a folder on your computer that you want to synchronize with Drive. This means that if you install the Drive application, and point it to, say, your My Documents folder, everything in your My Documents folder will sync to Google Drive, allowing you to easily share and edit files with colleagues or access them on the go. By default, the installer will create a new folder on your computer, with a shortcut icon on your Desktop.
Note, the following walkthrough should not be taken as a blanket recommendation. One of the great things about Google is it's ability to fit a variety of usage styles and needs. Not everyone will need this syncing solution and may be satisfied simply with the ability to access their files online thorough a web browser. Others may be happy with similar services such as Box.
If you wish to install the Google Drive desktop application, you'll first need to download the installer file. This can be done by opening Drive, and clicking "Download Google Drive for PC," (or Mac, if you're on a Mac), as seen below.
A separate window will open and you'll be prompted to accept the Google Drive Terms of Service. If you agree, click "Accept and Install."
You'll be presented with a sign in window. Enter your full email address and UM password, as illustrated below.
The log-in process will appear to have failed--but read carefully. Simply click "Continue" (even though it directs you to click "Sign in.")
On the UM log-in screen, log in like usual using your UM uniqname and password.
You should then see the following window, walking you through setting up the Google Drive folder on your computer. Click "Next," and walk through the prompts.
When installation is complete, you will have a Google Drive icon on your desktop, and "Google Drive" will appear in the left column of Windows Explorer windows, under "Favorites." Clicking either one of these will take you to the Google Drive folder on your computer. Any file you save or copy into this location will sync to your Google Drive, so you can access them through the web, or using any device on which you've installed this application.
Installing Google Drive on a Mobile Device
If you'd like to access your Google Drive content on an Android or iOS device, download the Drive app from the respective app store. See Google Drive on a mobile device for more information.